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Disambiguation of arg ument reference

From:Josh Roth <fuscian@...>
Date:Wednesday, October 9, 2002, 7:23
In a message dated 10/9/02 12:06:50 AM, DigitalScream@AOL.COM writes:

> First, to answer a question, prepositional arguments for mandatorily >ditransitive verbs *are* core case arguments. So, if you were to listen >the >arguments of "to put", it'd be something like x (placer), y (placed object), >and z (place). Oblique arguments can be dropped in English, and their >prepositions *can remain* in question form: "I'm going (to the store)", >and >"Where are you going to?" "I'm sitting (on the bench)", and "What are >you >sitting on?" (The parenthetical phrases are optional.) However, you >can't >say, *"I put the book (on the table)", or *"What are you putting on?"--if >you >said the latter, it could only refer to clothing (or music). So they >are >core arguments, even though it can vary (e.g., "on x", "over there", "right >here", etc.).
Something doesn't seem right here. You can't say *"What are you putting on?" because you're leaving out an entire argument - the object placed. It is perfectly all right to say "What are you putting the book on?" The place argument, being core, cannot be dropped, but it can be questioned, dangling preposition and all, just like any other argument. Can you think of another example? I'm not sure that in the first example, "to the store" is oblique. "Going" is all right by itself if you mean it to be synonymous with "leaving," but when you say, "to the store", the verb itself seems to have a different meaning, more like "traveling", and it leaves me with my mouth open, wanting to give it a complement. If "to ___" with the verb "go" is oblique, with what verb is it core? Josh Roth